CLEVELAND -- Some news on the Browns' assistant coaching front courtesy of ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan:
The Cleveland Browns will hire former University of Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips as their wide receivers coach, a league source confirmed to ESPN. The Browns still need to hire a quarterbacks coach and an offensive quality control coach.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier on Wednesday that the Browns are interviewing former NFL QB Kevin O'Connell for the quarterbacks job. Others confirmed to have interviewed for the quarterbacks job were former Bills QB coach Todd Downing (now Raiders QBs coach) and Glenn Thomas (Falcons QBs coach). A league source told ESPN that former NFL QB Steve Walsh interviewed for a job on the Browns offensive staff.
My thoughts: If the Browns are looking for experience, Phillips has it. Since 1991, Phillips has coached wide receivers at Kentucky (where he also was head coach), Cincinnati, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Florida. This is Phillips' first experience in the NFL but he should adapt just fine.
First thing Phillips should do on the job? Show Browns brass a list of free-agent wideouts, then pick out a few names. The free agency list is loaded -- Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Randall Cobb, Jeremy Maclin, Torrey Smith, Michael Crabtree, Kenny Britt, Cecil Shorts, Eddie Royal. Some of those names will stay put via the franchise tag or otherwise, but plenty of impact players are worth exploring here.
The impact of Phillips will be felt, one way or another.